The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling Harlequin, this is the second instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In Harlequin, Thomas of Hookton travelled to France as an archer and there discovered a shadowy destiny, which linked him to a family of heretical French lords who sought Christendom's greatest relic. Having ...
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling Harlequin, this is the second instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In Harlequin, Thomas of Hookton travelled to France as an archer and there discovered a shadowy destiny, which linked him to a family of heretical French lords who sought Christendom's greatest relic. Having survived the battle of Crecy, Thomas is sent back to England, charged with finding the Holy Grail. But Thomas is an archer and when a chance comes to fight against an army invading northern England he jumps at it. Plunged into the carnage of Neville's Cross, he is oblivious to other enemies who want to destroy him. He discovers too late that he is not the only person pursuing the grail, and that his rivals will do anything to thwart him. After hunting and wounding him, Thomas's enemies turn him into a fugitive. Fleeing England, he travels to Normandy, determined to rescue Will Skeat, his old commander from Harlequin. Finally Thomas leads his enemies back to Brittany, where he goes to discover an old love and where his pursuers at last trap their reluctant pilgrim. Vagabond is a vivid and realistic portrait of England at a time when the archer was king of Europe's battlefields.
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-10-14 The Hundred Years War is the bloody backdrop to this second volume of Cornwell's new series about the search for the Holy Grail (after The Archer's Tale). Like its predecessor, the novel follows Thomas of Hookton, an archer in the English army in the 14th century. Thomas is the bastard son of a recently murdered priest whose family claims it once possessed the Holy Grail. No one is certain the Holy Grail actually exists, but many believe it does, and kings are waging war and committing murder in the search for it. Thomas has a book of his father's, written in Latin and Hebrew, which might reveal clues to the Grail's location, if only he could make head or tails of it. But others are aware of the book's existence, and Thomas's motley enemies and rivals-including Guy Vexille, the French cousin who murdered his father; Bernard de Taillebourg, a Dominican Inquisitor who loves his job; and Sir Geoffrey Carr, a treacherous English knight-are all hot on his trail. The beleaguered young hero must also fight mercenaries, Scots and Frenchmen in gruesome, long-drawn-out battles. Cornwell is meticulous about historical facts and period detail, and his descriptions of butchery with arrow, mace and battleaxe are nothing if not convincing. As expected, the book culminates with battlefield slaughter on an epic scale. Cornwell fans will eat this up. (Dec. 1) Forecast: Cornwell's Richard Sharpe novels are justly popular, and this new series looks headed for similar success, backed by a strong marketing campaign. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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